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Why Jeff Kennett wants to move Australia Day

Former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett has joined the push to move Australia Day away from January 26.

Mr Kennett argues retaining January 26 for celebrations will “forever put a white line between us and our First Peoples”.

It’s a change from the Beyond Blue founder’s initial view, which was that Australia Day should be protected.

But Ben Fordham says it’s “tradition” to celebrate on January 26.

“I’ve got absolute respect for indigenous traditions, but I also want to protect my own.

“Shouldn’t we all respect each other’s traditions?”

Mr Kennet tells Ben Fordham “January 26 does not represent the day of invasion”.

“It represents the day of settlement and with that settlement, we deprived them of their lands and secondly, there was a lot of atrocities associated with that.

“The time has come for us to find a new date.”

He also points out Australia is the only country in the world that celebrates its national day on the day of settlement of a second race.

Mr Kennett says January 1 – the date of federation – makes sense to him.

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